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Ashton Gate Stadium

New convention bureau launches in England

Bristol, Bath and the surrounding area will now be represented by a new regional convention bureau: Meet Bristol & Bath. The new CVB building on the existing Meet Bristol Convention Bureau and will concentrate on attracting conferences and types of business events to the area.

The new organisation is being led by Amy Bramhall, who said she is looking forward to raising the profile of the region. “Representing two cities with such varying offers, plus their surrounding areas is hugely beneficial and gives us a competitive edge when bidding for events,” she said. “We are working hard to put plans and actions in place to aid recovery after what has been an extremely difficult year for the industry. 

We are well connected, and welcome all enquires however large or small and are dedicated to maintaining and developing working relationships with all of our stakeholders.”

VisitEngland’s head of business events, Kerrin MacPhie said that the launch is an “exciting development” for the business events industry in England. “Both destinations offer a wealth of opportunity and leading business events facilities which combined will make an unforgettable visitor experience,” said MacPhie. “We are excited to promote this new convention bureau to event planners at MeetEngland Virtual alongside 29 other leading English destinations, showcasing the many ways future events can be reimagined in England.” 

The chair of the Business Visits and Events Partnership (BVEP), Simon Hughes, also noted the importance of strong local resources to represent and facilitate growth for business events, and that it should never be understated. “Bristol and Bath and the surrounding region offer some of the best amenities for meetings, conferences, and exhibitions in unique locations,” he said. “Combining the two cities will undoubtedly create a more efficient and effective marketing platform”.

Freedom Auditorium
Freedom Auditorium

Meet Bristol & Bath will target a global audience, focusing on developing association, corporate and incentive travel business with a strong focus on developing working relationships with event planners and agents all over the world. 

There are also several new developments planned for the region, including the YTL Arena Bristol due to open in 2023. The venue will consist of three interlinked arenas’ including a multi-purpose, flexible hall with 11,000sqm flat floor space for exhibitions, trade shows and conventions. Plus, a 17,080-seat arena, making it the third largest arena in the UK. 

The Ashton Gate Stadium Sporting Quarter Development is a proposed new development of a state of the art 4,000 capacity sports and convention centre, adjacent to their existing venue, which is currently the largest conference centre in Bristol and the surrounding areas. The development will include a 4-star hotel and a new urban village development. In addition, there are more hotel rooms coming to Bristol over the next few years, including the Leonardo Hotel scheduled for 2021 and the Clayton Hotel which will have 255 bedrooms and extensive meeting space, due to open in quarter one 2022.

Bath has also welcomed the Freedom Auditorium to its conferencing offer. The Auditorium offers space for up to 500 delegates, breakout space and a private mezzanine level. The in-house technical team specialise in hybrid events and live streaming is provided.

There will be more opportunities to host team building and social events, including the opening of the new Mary Shelley’s House of Frankenstein, a world first visitor attraction opening in the Spring, which will include an escape room experience for groups. Mary Shelley wrote the majority of this timeless classic whilst living in lodgings situated in Abbey Churchyard, Bath, in 1816, where the iconic Pump Room is now located. 

The convention bureau offers a range of services, including venue and accommodation booking, connections with local suppliers and industry specialists, together with expert knowledge and insights to support those bringing their event to the West of England.